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Finance Minister to table mini-budget on Jan 23

KARACHI: Finance Minister Asad Umar on Saturday announced to present the mini-budget on Jan 23, ARY News reported.

“The government had planned to present the mini-budget on Jan 21 but owing to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s foreign trip, it will now be presented on Jan 23,” he said while speaking to traders at Karachi Chambers of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led federal government is presenting the mini-budget in order to introduce a comprehensive economic plan for the next three years. It had already announced a mini- budget in September last year.

The incumbent government intends to bring the third finance bill in the parliament to achieve tax collection targets.

Earlier, on Jan 10, the minister said the country’s trade deficit had reduced due to a rise in foreign remittances and exports.

Talking to anchorpersons in Islamabad, Umar ruled out any threat of a default and added that the country’s trade deficit had also shrunk due to a decrease in imports volume.

“A record 65 per cent increase was observed in loans to the private sector from July to December 2018,” he said.

The minister said the government was in contact with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but they were not in a hurry for the IMF package. “We will sign an agreement that suits the country’s economy.”

He added that the government was also taking measures for alternative arrangements to address the immediate economic needs of the country.

“We would not make any decision which increases the difficulties of the masses”, he said.

Umar also said the hike in gas and electricity prices would not affect the poor. “The government was taking measures to increase investment and ease business in the country.”

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